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Re: [Debian-sf-devel] NonF*ree software and Debian SF

From: James Michael DuPont
Subject: Re: [Debian-sf-devel] NonF*ree software and Debian SF
Date: Fri, 7 Feb 2003 10:40:05 -0800 (PST)

--- Tim Perdue <address@hidden> wrote:
> James Michael DuPont wrote:
> > Dear Team,
> > 
> > I was very suprised and very disappointed to see that 
> > we now have non-free software in the debian-sf/gforge system.
> > (JPGraph, or something like that)
> > 
> > In any case, if it is not in free under debian, then we can and
> should
> > not use it. I would like to see why this decision was made and who
> made
> > it? 
> > 
> > I would like to ask you to reconsider this decision
> Anything with "Free" in the subject goes into my spam folder, so I 
> missed this.
> This may be a good reason for debian-sf to be maintained to satisfy 
> those whose #1 concern is GPL. However, I won't be limiting my work
> on 
> GForge to GPL-only materials.

Dear Tim,

I have been looking at your offer for non-free reporting tools for the
GPLed gforge code at :

You may have to reconsider what linking to GPL code, and what making
derived works from GPLEd mean. It looks like your statistics software
for savannah is in some way dependant on GPled code. 

In fact this is a very important issue for me, and I have been in long
discussions about it with the GCC developers. If you can create
non-free commercial products based on GPLed code, then others can
create non-free commercial products based on the GCC. 

I dont think so.

The Savannah code is GPLEd,and not LGPLEd. Also I am sure you are aware
about the debian social contract?

Also you may have to read what the GPL really says about distributing
derived works of GPLed code. Your packages just might be seen as being
derived works.

Some of the things that might be a criteria are :
1. Does it work only with GPLEd code.
2. Do you have to distribute the GPLed code to use it.
3. Does it exploit the internal structure of the GPLEd code, does it
need GPLEd sql tables, data structures that are accidental.
4. Does it include or link gpled code.

I can tell you that the GPL protagonists are very very very picky about
this, my experience in making plug-ins for the GCC. 

The entire idea of putting databases, xml, apis and plugins to try and
isolate yourself from GPLing a derived works may not work at all.
Make sure you talk to a laywer, IANAL BTW.

 I have been in contact with debian-legal about this and will get back
to you.

Sorry to have to bring this up.


James Michael DuPont

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